Why Is My Stomach Soft during Pregnancy (Shouldn’t My Belly Be Hard?)

Why is my pregnant belly sometimes hard and sometimes soft?

Although every woman and every pregnancy are unique, it is typically normal for the stomach to feel harder and softer at different times.

Depending on the baby’s position, movements, gas, cramps, weight gain, and, later in pregnancy, Braxton-Hicks contractions, a woman’s pregnant belly may get harder or softer. If you experience abdominal tightness, especially if it is accompanied by spotting, bleeding, fever, nausea, vaginal discharge, or cold flashes, you should see a doctor right away to rule out preeclampsia.

However, you’ll typically start to notice that as your pregnancy progresses, your belly’s size, shape, and firmness will change significantly, eventually growing large and firm as you approach the third trimester.

So Why Do Bellies Get Hard During Different Trimesters?

Your uterus enlarges as your due date approaches, causing your belly to grow and feel harder or firmer as a result. Although every pregnancy experiences this growth and expansion, each woman’s pregnancy looks very differently.

Other causes for your belly’s potential hardening during pregnancy include:

  • Expansion of your uterus
  • Gas, bloating, constipation, or other gastrointestinal issues.
  • Your baby moving around and changing positions.
  • Braxton hicks contractions
  • Actual labor contractions
  • However, many of these causes fluctuate throughout the day, so your stomach may feel soft one minute and rock hard the next.

    For first-time mothers who have never gone through this and are now concerned because their bump has vanished, it can be a little stressful and even worrying.

    How soft or hard your belly is will also depend on which trimester you are in.

    The pregnancy hormones really hit you like a freight train in the first trimester and don’t let up, along with some unpleasant symptoms like:

  • Nausea
  • Tender breasts
  • Fatigue – I have never felt so tired.
  • Cravings and food aversions
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Increased urination
  • And even though you are dealing with all these pregnancy symptoms, you probably won’t start to look pregnant until your second trimester, which will be in 12 weeks.

    Any changes to the firmness of your stomach during the first trimester are probably the result of gas or bloating brought on by the pregnancy hormone progesterone.

    From weeks 13 to 27 of your pregnancy, which is considered the second trimester, you will experience significant physical changes, making it more challenging to conceal your pregnancy. Some of the changes that you may be experiencing are:

  • Both your belly and breast increase in size
  • Changes to your skin such as stretch marks
  • Dizziness
  • Sensitive teeth and gums
  • Leg cramps
  • Nosebleeds
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • UTI
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Many pregnant women start to experience relief from some of those earlier symptoms, such as nausea, by the second trimester.

    Aside from the alleviation of some of the unfavorable first trimester symptoms, another reason why many pregnant women prefer this trimester is that even though their bellies may have popped, they are still sufficiently small to not yet be burdensome.

    The American Pregnancy Association states that your uterus will be around the size of a papaya in this second trimester and it no longer sits in your pelvis. As it is situated between your navel and breast bone this is the reason why most women really begin to start showing at this time.

    Your muscles will start to stretch during this second trimester, and you might start to experience Braxton Hicks contractions, both of which will make your belly feel hard.

    Around week 28 of your pregnancy, this stage starts, and you can now see the end of the tunnel.

    Common symptoms of this trimester are:

  • Swelling
  • Frequent need to pee
  • Increased pelvic discomfort
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Shortness of breath as your baby increases in size and pushes against your other organs.
  • Your uterus will grow to the size of a watermelon as the due date draws closer. Your skin may feel hard at this point from being stretched so thinly over your growing belly.

    You may be experiencing a great deal of discomfort at this point, but keep in mind that you are in the home stretch. Your baby will re-enter your pelvis in anticipation of birth.

    Although taking this action will make it easier for you to breathe, a side effect is that because your baby is pressing against your pelvis and bladder, you may experience more pelvic pain and a greater need to urinate.

    Additionally, at this point, your Braxton Hicks contractions will change to real contractions, indicating that your baby is on the way.

    Why is my pregnant belly soft?

    The majority of women experience pregnancy symptoms as soon as they realize they are pregnant, but many don’t become aware of their bump until late in the first trimester. Many of us associate being pregnant with hard, round bellies, but every woman’s body is different.

    Being concerned about your pregnant belly can result from comparing your bump to other women’s. It’s important to remember that all women carry differently. Because their wombs have more space to expand, women with higher fat percentages, for example, may maintain a soft belly for longer. Furthermore, due to tight abdominal muscles, first-time mothers may not appear pregnant until well into their second trimesters.

    Additional elements that could affect a woman’s bump include the following:

  • Mother’s body type
  • Baby’s position
  • Number of babies
  • Uterus shape
  • Previous pregnancies
  • Amount of fluid
  • Even throughout the day, you may notices changes to your bump. Many women report that their bellies seem softer and smaller in the morning compared to the evening. According to Susannah Birch, a birth doula, this is primarily due to the fact that your abdominal muscles begin to loosen throughout the day. Additionally, your baby’s position and factors such as gas and contractions may cause your belly to change size, shape, and feel.

    Consult your OB/GYN or midwife if you’re concerned about your growing belly being too soft during pregnancy. Regular prenatal checkups will assist you in maintaining a healthy pregnancy and reduce your worries.

    Why does my belly get hard and soft during pregnancy?

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